Saturday, October 18, 2014

Rolly Martin's Retirement

Through the generosity of Bill Needham, retired Terminal Supervisor at Schreiber,
we can now enjoy some more photographs
of Rolly's retirement in 1989 and of his friends at Schreiber.

Rolly arrives at Schreiber
Rolly has just run into Schreiber for the last time on Train Number 2, The Canadian, 
from Thunder Bay.

Rolly's last trip ticket

Rule G on the nose!
Rolly commemorates his last run by breaking a bottle of champagne on the nose of the VIA 6433.
The temperature is minus 30!

Brian Birch refueling
On this very cold night, Brian Birch of Petro-Canada tops up the lead locomotive's fuel tank
at the east end of the Schreiber station platform.

Rolly Martin's retirement dinner
The Head Table with Rolly and Theresa

Another table of well-wishers at Rolly Martin's retirement
(It is hard to believe that 'today' - 2014 - is already 25 years after Rolly retired!)

Another view of Rolly Martin's retirement dinner at Schreiber
You can identify some of the railroaders (including photographer Bill Needham) by checking Rolly's biographical page on this blog.

VIA 6433 cake
Rolly's cake. In a railroading town where 'getting the engine number right' is a professional necessity you can expect that the cake will also bear the correct locomotive number from Rolly's last run.

Dave Speer gives his speech of congratulation
Rolly's regular 'mate' on Number 1 was fellow engineman Dave Speer.

Parts of Dave's speech:

It's been my honour to work with Rolly for the last three years, on the head end of VIA One and Two. Those trains are a vanishing breed, just like Rolly. 
... I've also learned a little bit about how Rolly has made his fortune. He sells out-of-service insurance, and never takes 'no' for an answer. Once at the bunkhouse in Thunder Bay, I heard a strange noise in the men's room. I looked behind the shower curtain, and found a railroader, fully dressed. When I asked him what the hell he was doing there, he said "SHHH ... Martin's trying to sell me insurance". 
... If you're under 40 and male, you have to follow "Rolly's Rules for Railroaders":
Show up for work on time. Lateness is death. 
Be sober. The fate for those who aren't is worse than if you're late. 
Be neat. Beards are OK, as long as they're trimmed short. Hair must be one and three-quarter inches above the ears. 
Watch the way you talk on the radio. Never use "ROGER", "OVER" or "OUT". Always use "10-4". 
... Rolly has quite a reputation for neatness in the cab of the engine. His reputation extends well past Chapleau, and west all the way out to the Manitoba border ... 

Now that Rolly's retired, [Theresa] you're probably going to be going on some car trips. And Rolly has a habit that will be impossible to break, after so many years driving trains. 
If you hear some muttering coming from Rolly, you better know what it is. It's Rolly calling "CLEAR SIGNAL" ... every time you come to a green light. 
You'll have to learn to say "CLEAR SIGNAL" back. But don't try to beat him to the draw. 
It doesn't matter how far ahead you look ... Rolly can see a green light 20 miles away. So don't try to call "CLEAR SIGNAL" first. 
Rolly will always beat you to it, and call "CLEAR SIGNAL" before you can. Get used to it, just answer: "CLEAR SIGNAL" - it'll make his day.

Rolly Martin gives his retirement speech
The guest of honour rises to speak after Dave Speer's speech.
Rolly always enjoyed telling good jokes and recounting railway stories.
Perhaps he is a little nervous tonight with the large crowd 
and photographers present to record the event.

Parts of Rolly's speech: 

... [Dave] You're always on time - even if Number One isn't. 
... In the last six years, I've worked mainly with two men: Dave Speer and Dudley Cardiff. I've really enjoyed working with both of them. I hope in the future, instead of running trains, we'll be fishing together. 
... It's good that I'm retiring now, the rules are changing, and there's so many things to keep up with now - it's not the job it used to be. 
Thank you all for coming. It's been a very special evening for me. Thank you.

Rolly Martin at the throttle

Rolly would probably choose this photo as the best way to end this page of memories.
Here he is with his hand on the throttle after his last run.

Thanks again to Bill Needham.